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Generally speaking, the romantic outlook is good this week, but first we need to talk about something. Actually, it’s more like we need to talk about everything, because on Tuesday both the Sun and Mercury enter Gemini.

In theory, Sun in Taurus should have been good for romance, because Taurus is ruled by Venus. But you may have noticed that it doesn’t always work out that way. Venus represents the romantic impulse and sure, that’s great. But the key to making an existing relationship work better is communication. In fact, the key to even starting a relationship is communication… and Gemini is all about communication.

This, however, does not mean you should go blurting out whatever is on your mind. Sun conjunct Mercury during the early part of this week can make your thoughts unfocused and your words come out wrong. If there’s something you’re absolutely dying to tell someone, you might want to wait until the second half of the week.

The biggest “love and romance” factor for the week is exact on Wednesday, and it spreads its influence throughout the week. Mars sextile Uranus will tend to turn up the volume on both people’s sex drives and the urge to mingle. Mars is currently in Cancer, and that placement tends to be a bit of a wallflower. Mars isn’t usually comfortable in a position like that, and it needs to make the effort to find a healthy outlet. The energy of a sextile to Uranus provides exactly the boost that Mars in Cancer is looking for… and fortunately the sextile is one of the softer of the major aspects, and is less prone to sudden flare-ups than a square or an opposition would be.

Even so, one should be careful about being too bold when this aspect is happening. Uranus can be incredibly energizing, but it’s also inherently unpredictable, and it can make unusual circumstances occur. So if you suddenly believe that you have found your Twin Flame, keep in mind my earlier warning about the status of Mercury this week. Yeah, this guy may look like the answer to your prayers… but it seems pretty unlikely he really does have candy in the back of his van for you, doesn’t it? Think before you leap.

And if all of this talk of boosting and flare-ups isn’t your style? Keep in mind that Venus is still in Taurus and it’s going to be there for a while. If you prefer a slow and steady response to romance — as opposed to the pushy and shovy nature Mars can have — just wait until next week. That’s when Venus sextile Neptune kicks in and things get all dreamy and floaty and sweet.

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Whenever I’m looking at a client’s transits in a reading, I’m always happy to deliver good news, but I always look for the bad news first. As I often tell clients, if you win the lottery next week and I didn’t spot it, great. If you get bitten by a shark next week and I didn’t spot it, I haven’t done my job. So I admit it: I’m little nervous about this week’s forecast — but maybe not for the reason you’d expect. Forgive me if I’m hesitant when I tell you that this week’s outlook for love and romance is actually pretty good. On Tuesday, Venus sextile Mars is exact and that aspect lasts throughout the week. Any Venus-Mars aspect is a natural for attraction, romance, and sex… and the sextile is one of the kinder and gentler of aspects. If you want to get a new relationship up and going, or have an existing situation that needs more affection, this is a good time to take action.

Your thoughts and communications towards loved ones should also improve this week. Mercury sextile Neptune lends a certain gentleness to what you have to say. Think of this as an opportunity to (literally or figuratively) write that love letter you’ve been meaning to get around to. Meanwhile, Mercury trine Saturn will also be in effect this week. That will lend strength and stability to what might otherwise be scattered and unruly thoughts. If nothing else, it’s a good week to get organized.

If things need changing up in your love life, we have some unusual circumstances that will help you with that. Venus and Mars remain in the sextile to each other, but on Wednesday both planets change signs. First of all, Venus enters Taurus. Since Venus is the ruler of Taurus, this is generally considered to be a good indicator for solid results in your love life and potentially with your finances. Although this is a good placement, Venus in Taurus can be a little slow to get things moving. So don’t be afraid to get out there and give it a bit of a push.

Later that same day, Mars enters Cancer. That particular placement has a reputation for being problematic. Mars is not always comfortable with the emotional depth that Cancer can lend to it, but can we at least admit that sometimes Mars could benefit from a little more sensitivity? Finally on Saturday, just in time for date night, we have a Full Moon in Scorpio and Venus conjunct Uranus. The Venus aspect lends an element of romantic surprise to your weekend, and just might provide the thrills you are seeking. And yes, I know, “Full Moon in Scorpio” sounds a little scary to a lot of you. This Full Moon is sextile Saturn and Pluto though, so at least this month the werewolves should be relatively well-behaved…

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Sometimes when you want something new to grow, you need to clear out some weeds. This week provides both opportunities to clear some brush and to plant some new seeds.

The week begins with Venus square Saturn. If you are in a relationship you want to keep, tread carefully… very carefully. Feelings are more likely to get bruised, irritable outbursts will be more common, and generally the mood will be sour. I know that for purposes of a Love Horoscope, this sounds pretty awful. But, bear with me: just like you can make some pretty tasty soup with some gnarly-looking leftovers, I’m going to help you through this.

On Thursday, two entirely different-sounding aspects to Venus make things complicated. First, Venus trine Jupiter is normally a time when love and affection flow freely, and relationships tend to flow smoothly. Normally I’d be jumping up and down excitedly and telling you all to go on a date or buy those flowers or put an ad on a dating site… but this week? Not so much. The other big aspect that is exact on Thursday is Venus square Pluto. If Venus square Saturn was cold, distant, and indifferent, the square to Pluto adds an extra layer of potential explosiveness. Venus square Saturn may be cold, but Venus square Pluto can be downright vicious.

So how does you handle this mess? It depends on your individual circumstances.

Many of us are being held back in our love lives by past disappointments or failures or heartbreak. If that’s you, it’s a good week to address that and set it aside. Ghosts make for interesting stories, but ultimately ghosts are just an echo of past grief. Haunted houses may be great fun for a while, but eventually you need to either move or do an exorcism if you want to live peacefully. If that’s where your love life is now, or if that is the state of your heart and it keeps you from finding love — make some cuts.

Others out there are caught in relationships that are more struggle than reward. That can happen even in a good relationship: humans aren’t perfect, and if you want to be in a relationship with one, things will occasionally go wonky. Understand that, be willing to forgive yourself and your loved one, and make an effort to build towards a new understanding.

If you are in a relatively new relationship and you hit a wall this week? Take a step back and try to be calm before you pull the plug on something that could be great — or before you throw yourself further into something that’s going nowhere.

And finally: if you are a complex mix of some or all of the above? Congratulations: you are a human being, and so are the people you love. Act accordingly, with the best of intentions and as much understanding as you can muster.

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This week, big things are stirring in the cosmos that go well beyond the regular purview of a weekly forecast, and we ignore these at our own peril. So let’s get out of the way of that forest fire before we put up this week’s tent, okay?

Saturn turns retrograde on Monday, and Pluto went backwards last week. This means that both Saturn and Pluto are moving particularly slowly, and they are all conjunct now between 20 and 23 degrees Capricorn. Pluto in those degrees has made things seriously unhinged for many people (and the world in general) for the last couple of years (had you noticed?). Saturn will be retrograde until September, and Pluto will be retrograde until October, so don’t expect any miracle turnarounds. Having the Moon’s South Node involved in that conjunction isn’t helping any when it comes to your long term, karmic connections to others. Under circumstances like this, it’s even more important to navigate things one week, or even one day, at a time.

For the record? This week may not be a lot of help with that.

Mercury, the planet that should be helping you think clearly, is taking a bit of a beating this week. In the early part of the week, Mercury sextile Mars will likely lend some boldness to your words and your thinking (and those of others). That would be great if Mercury square Saturn and Mercury square Pluto weren’t both happening. In fact, this combination could make for some downright mean-spirited speech.

Jupiter trine Mercury is also in effect this week. Normally any sentence with “Jupiter” in it sounds like it should herald good news. But remember that Jupiter can lend loudness and excessiveness to anything it aspects. And, like I mentioned last paragraph, this particular Mercury (in Aries, no less!) probably doesn’t need to be shouting its opinions this week.

No matter how things are running for you, a New Moon is always an opportunity to consciously sit with your issues and attempt at least a partial reboot. This Saturday, a New Moon in Taurus is particularly well-suited to resetting things with your personal connections and your love life. At the very least, the dominant aspect for the second half of the week — Mars opposite Jupiter — will be creating some potentially useful sexual tension.

By this point some of you may be thinking, “Hey, this is supposed to be a Love Horoscope… where’s the Love this week?” The answer to that is simple. Venus in Aries is building up to next week’s Venus square Saturn. That means she’s too busy packing up the camping supplies and getting the hell out of that forest fire’s way. Come back next week and see where she’s parked the tent!

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My mom used to tell me that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Thus, I regret to inform you all that there will be no Love Horoscope this week.

Ha! Kidding! This week should only prove problematic for some of us. Well, maybe most of us. Your mileage will depend on how your life has been running in the last couple of months, and in a larger sense, the last couple of years. That’s a result of two very important retrogrades. But before I get to those, let’s cover the other news for the week. On Monday, the Sun is conjunct Uranus in early Taurus. A Sun-Uranus conjunction can occasionally make for great results, especially if you find yourself in a position where you need to stand up to someone or need to get creative to overcome some obstacles. It also means that people around you may very well be a little more prickly and unpredictable than usual. Either way, treat it as if your ego and the egos of those around you have had one espresso too many.

More closely related to the subject of sex and romance: the biggest single governing factor this week is exact on Saturday morning but makes things a little loopy for the entire week and for most of next week. Mars square Neptune makes for strange times with your ambitions and your sex drive. Whether your intentions are romantic or otherwise, you could find yourself having a hard time gaining any traction. This aspect also makes for increased potential for ill-advised and/or intoxicated hookups. You’ve been warned.

Now about those retrogrades: Sit back and have a look at your recent history. Has anything been going unusually wrong (or unusually right) in your life in the last couple of years in general, with a specific emphasis on the last two months, and possibly around the time of last week’s Full Moon? That’s probably because of Saturn and Pluto. Pluto has been grinding away at 23 degrees Capricorn lately, and on Wednesday Pluto turns retrograde. It stays that way until October, when it goes forward again at 20 degrees Capricorn.

I sometimes half jokingly refer to the whole “forward, retrograde, forward” nature of a transit as “the truck hits you, the truck backs over you, then the truck goes ahead and hits you again.” That loud beeping sound you may hear this week is Pluto, shifting into reverse. What’s been really complicating things recently is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. It’s not exact until January but it has been in effect lately. And although Saturn does not turn retrograde until next Monday, it’s slowing down to a halt now, magnifying the effects of the conjunction.

Don’t panic. You’ve probably been through worse in your time. On the other hand, I’ll bet some of you are wishing right now that I had finished this forecast after the first paragraph…

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Pretty much everyone loves love. Even cynics, if you drill down far enough, have something or other going on inside of them that craves sweetness and affection and romance. “Craving” is a good way to describe how a lot of us will be feeling this week. Cravings are not particularly logical or practical. It’s just when you want some stuff, whether it’s a good idea or not.

Venus starts the week still under the influence of Venus sextile Pluto. That means that the first half of the week or so will be complicated with strong urges to fire up your love life. And if your love life is doing just fine, these energies might be a good excuse to break your diet or screw up your budget.

Most of the week is also influenced by Venus square Jupiter, which is exact on Monday. That aspect may be a little less demanding than Venus sextile Pluto, but it is even less subject to reason.

At least when it comes to investing where your sex drive is pointed, you might be making some smarter decisions this week then you would have previously. On Wednesday, Mercury enters Aries and leaves behind the sometimes muddled and confused thinking of Mercury in Pisces. This is especially important now, since Mars (which rules the sex drive) is in Gemini. This sets up an opportunity to choose sex partners with more wisdom. Or, you know, at least you’ll be able to apply increased craftiness to your bad choices. Whatever floats your boat!

The weekend dating scene looks to be an emotional one. On Friday there is a Full Moon in Libra. Normally I would be making some kind of a joke combining werewolves with speed dating, but this particular Full Moon requires a little more attention. It is happening square Saturn, Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes. That particular Saturn/Pluto conjunction has been making things really tense for a lot of us for the last couple of years, and any quicker and smaller transits aspecting Saturn and Pluto need to be given special attention throughout the rest of this year.

In this case, the usual emotional flare-ups we associate with a Full Moon may very well be related to where the major stress points have been in your life in the last two years. Whether you were cruising for a breakdown or meltdown or not, the stressful energies of a Full Moon make it more likely. Be particularly cautious with the feelings of those around you this Friday.

After Friday, things should settle down… but might not as much as you would hope for. Yes, on Saturday the Sun enters Taurus, and Taurus does have a reputation for being able to take a calmer and more gentle approach than Aries. But there are two additional factors in play. First of all the Sun enters Taurus conjunct Uranus, with the exact conjunction happening until Monday. Any planet conjunct Uranus can be a a bit of a wild card, and with the Sun involved we can sometimes expect egos to get out of hand.

That, and: how many Tauruses have you actually known in your time? They all have the potential to turn into a maniac under the right circumstances. And believe me, a conjunction to Uranus can certainly provide those circumstances.

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This week’s forecast is a mixed bag, but definitely a useful one. Ever find yourself slipping into daydreams about romance when things aren’t going right for you at the office or whatever? That’s pretty much the kind of week we’re going to have. Every planet is more or less taking a beating except for our old friend Venus.

The big astrological news dominating occurs in the middle of the week. There will be two major events that have a direct bearing on the health and the status of love lives everywhere. One of them is Venus conjunct Neptune, late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. If you are in an existing relationship that could benefit from some kindness, thoughtfulness, or forgiveness, this is an excellent aspect. If you are prone to diving into relationships without stopping to think about the potential consequences, Venus conjunct Neptune could do that to you this week too. Neptune is pretty alluring, but it is not noted for its skills with logic or discernment.

On Wednesday, Jupiter turns retrograde. This lasts until August. Jupiter retrograde doesn’t usually cause as much mayhem as Mercury retrograde does, and even though it’s retrograde, Jupiter will still be in Sagittarius, which is a strong placement for it. But Jupiter is the ruler of committed relationships, and you’ll be wanting to put more thought and care into those things in the next few months. That, and if you’re planning on getting married between now and August 11th, drop everything right now and contact an astrologer about picking the right date and time for it!

Speaking of retrogrades: have you noticed that there is a lot of foggy thinking and mangled communications going on, despite the fact that Mercury retrograde is over? You might feel some of that dissipate this week, or you might just go ahead and say the wrong thing at the wrong time anyway. That’s because Mercury sextile Pluto is exact on Wednesday, and that will sharpen your words and thinking. On the other hand though, late Thursday night Mercury square Jupiter is a recipe for impatient or ill-considered communications. Be careful who and what you blow up with, and don’t accidentally overestimate your skill level with things.

The weekend brings us some interesting conditions for dating. On Friday, Venus sextile Saturn improves your odds of finding a lasting relationship, or of being able to shore up an existing relationship which needs the support.

The weekend also brings us Sun square Pluto and Sun trine Jupiter. That’s a peculiar combination. On the one hand, egos and obnoxiousness might get a little out of control… and the aspect from Jupiter makes everyone more than willing to express that. If nothing else, this might make for some amusing shouting matches at your local bar. Finally, on Sunday, Venus sextile Pluto is exact. If Venus conjunct Neptune made things cuddly and fuzzy and kind of strange for you, Venus sextile Pluto add extra depth and intensity to your affections, and makes your appetites a little sharper. This could be an excellent weekend to find someone new… provided all your time isn’t taken up with those shouting matches.

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First of all: everything is great now with Mercury!


April Fool’s.

Before we get on with the week’s romantic business, we need to have a word about Mercury. Yes, that particularly annoying retrograde is over, but Mercury isn’t out of the woods yet. Have you ever tried to drive a car out of deep mud or snow? You can’t just step on the gas and get out of there in a straightforward manner. You kind of have to rock the car back and forth and build enough momentum until eventually you go shooting out of that ditch… and hopefully there are no oncoming cars when you fly out of there.

That, essentially, is the condition that Mercury is in this week. It’s moving forward, but Mercury conjunct Neptune (which is exact on Tuesday) is going to make your thinking and communication a little fuzzier than usual. It’s just a good thing that after that, Mercury sextile Saturn approaches. That aspect is exact on Sunday, but it should help to make the second half of the week a little saner and more orderly.

This week comes with an excellent opportunity to reboot things in your life. That opportunity arrives on Friday with the New Moon in Aries. If Aries represents new beginnings, then a New Moon in Aries is going to be doubly powerful. If there is something that needs to be overcome in your life or something that has to be shaken out of its complacency, make the time to do so on Friday. This particular New Moon is square Saturn, Pluto, and the Nodes. The Saturn-Pluto conjunction, although not exact until January, reaches a peak soon. The things you want and need to change in your life in the next month may very well be related to things that have been under pressure for the last couple of years, thanks to Pluto in Capricorn. Make sure your short-term goals are in alignment with where you want to get to in the long run.

And hey, if nothing else? If you just decide to let the transits happen and not do anything with them? Well, New Moons come with almost as much of an emotional charge as Full Moons do. Why not head out to a local bar, sit quietly in a safe corner, and watch as someone else’s life blows up? Mars is in Gemini after all, and that’s always a great time to start or overhear an argument…

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Let’s get the big news out of the way first. Mercury retrograde ends on Thursday, and for many of us this particular retrograde was a doozy. Many astrologers would at this point observe that once Mercury retrograde is over, it continues in its “shadow period” until it has made up the degrees it has lost — and that goes on until mid-April. Those astrologers would also point out that Mercury will still be in Pisces, and that tends to be a somewhat impaired place for it, so you still better be really careful with your plans and communications. Furthermore, since transiting Mercury is conjunct Neptune for the first part of this week, those astrologers would point out that Mercury is still not functioning properly this week, retrograde or not.

I am not one of those astrologers, because frankly you’ve had enough of this Mercury retrograde crap already, so I won’t bring that up.

Oops.

The big news on the romance front this week is that both Venus and Mars are changing signs. On Tuesday, Venus enters Pisces. If Pisces is considered a bad place for Mercury to be, it’s a fantastic location for Venus to hang out in. Pisces is the sign in which Venus is exalted, and thus Venus is considered to be at its strongest there. A strong Venus, in and of itself, is no guarantee that your love life will suddenly start running brilliantly, but as a general rule it’s a lot more cuddly and romantic than Venus in Aquarius was.

Adding a little excitement to the romance outlook this week is Venus sextile Uranus, which is exact on Wednesday but manages to fill the entire week with the potential for new love, new excitement, and new ways to spend your money. Venus in Pisces is a nice girl, but sometimes she’s got to pump the gas a little to get what she wants. This aspect can help do exactly that.

If you have felt that the slow and steady approach to love and sex that is the signature style of Mars in Taurus is a bit too much of a drag, good news arrives on Sunday. That’s when Mars enters Gemini. This placement helps improve the possibility of you literally being able to talk a good game, or talk someone into a date (or something more adventurous). Have fun with that, but remember to be careful not to overdo it, because Gemini is ruled by Mercury, and Mercury is still…

Oh, never mind. Just ask him/her out already. I’m sure it will be fine.

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Yes, Mercury is still retrograde in Pisces. However, Mercury is in much better shape this week than it was last week, and that’s a good thing. Your love life may be about to blow up with new and interesting people to talk to.

The biggest aspects of the week affecting your love and sex outlook are happening on Wednesday and Thursday, and they will influence the entire week. There is a confluence of aspects happening the could make for great change.

At the top of the week, Mercury sextile Mars will give added impulsiveness to your communications. Again, keep in mind the usual cautions regarding your communications and Mercury retrograde… especially given that there will be a lot of emotional urgency this week.

Where is all that emotional urgency coming from? First, on Wednesday, Mars trine Pluto will be exact. That aspect will make the entire week a time of powerful breakthroughs and powerful outbursts of sexual energy. At least with the trine aspect, this energy will be easier to use constructively than other times when Mars and Pluto interact.

If you like your love life to be passionate (and maybe a little bit reckless), Thursday was made for you! First of all, that’s the day there’s a Full Moon in Libra. Everyone’s emotions seem to be close to the surface on a Full Moon, and anyone who is a fan of astrology knows about the association between Libra and relationships. That in and of itself might make it a good night to line up a date or hit the singles bar, but there are a couple of exact aspects that back up that notion up even more.

Thursday is also the day when Venus square Mars is exact. Venus in Aquarius loves exciting and unusual circumstances, and Mars in Taurus may not be the most stable of placements for that planet, but Mars in Taurus sure seems to love sex.

As they used to say in the old TV ads, “but wait — there’s more!” Thursday is also the day that Venus sextile Jupiter is exact. Take all that emotional and sexual impulsiveness and add in a sense of kindness, romance, and light. Played properly, the circumstances that Thursday provides could make for an interesting combination of of some old school porn and one of those insufferably sweet Hallmark channel romance movies.

You may want to plan out in advance how far you are willing to go with something new, because Mercury is approaching a conjunction to Neptune at the end of the week. If you let your hormones do all of your thinking for you, you might find yourself in a situation you’d rather extract yourself from…

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